So thankful for this delectable drop off from one of the best kept secrets in Chicago!

It’s one of my greatest pleasures to have the fortune to work with food companies. Connecting my passion with my job — What could be better?

Through my adventures with food over the years I have stumbled across some amazing talent in the kitchen. One of my newer comrades is Amanda Terbush. I met her in the kitchen of Vosges Haut-Chocolat where she used to treat us to her own tarts and cakes for co-workers birthdays. She has since gone out on her own, putting her French pastries skills to use.

A week or so ago, Amanda treated me to an unexpected surprise. I had just received some difficult news and was in a bad state. My office buzzer rang and there at the door was Amanda with a bakery box. Inside was a Tarte Tatin (pictured above.) The pastry was as delicious as it was beautiful and boosted my spirits right out of the gutter. (It may not be entirely healthy, but sweets do have the power to boost my mood!)

Amanda has bounced back and forth between chocolate and pastries in her career as a chef but now that she owns her own company, she is able to combine the best of both worlds. No more having to decide whether to make a chocolate truffle or a sweet macaroon. Now she can create and hybridize both worlds.

Amanda’s new pastry business, Southern France, is in its infancy, so much so that Amanda has been growing her acclaim all out of a small, one-stove shared kitchen. As she expands her business, she hopes to find a new brick and mortar that she can call her own but in the mean time she is meticulously providing her delicious treats to all her fans, one order at a time.

You know I love baking… but this year, I may hire Amanda to help me with some of my holiday sweets. She is Chicago’s secret “find” in the world of French pastries. Take advantage before she becomes famous and has more orders than she can handle!!!

You can find out more about Amanda, peruse her pastries and place orders at Southern France.